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Entries about riyadh

Saudi Cycling Federation 50km Road race

Or maybe just 42km...

sunny 28 °C

A couple of friends of mine are part of the Riyadh Wheelers cycle club based in Riyadh www.riyadhwheelers.com . The Saudi Cycle Federation invited the club to compete in their 50km cycle race held on 19 Apr. Competing were the Saudi National Guard Team, Al Fateh and Riyadh wheelers and other entrants, kindly sponsored by Red Bull.

The course was a T shaped circuit on the SW outskirts of Riyadh. 4 or 5 laps of 8 or 10km. The field soon spread out and the going looked tough on one of the warmer days we have had

Here are a few shots of a tough looking race, I managed to miss the sprint finish as it turned out to be 42km long and I didn't get back to the finish line in time.

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The train is up and running
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Fastest Foreigner Rob
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The winners podium- red team is the National Guard, the team principal came to greet up and give out bags of food and water, a nice gentleman.
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Good time had by all.
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Overall an enjoyable and tough event for all. The Saudis warmly welcomed the team and thanked them for their participation, even giving out medals for slowest finisher etc :-)

Posted by Gavin Lee 00:50 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged cycling riyadh Comments (0)

Faisal's Finger, Riyadh

sunny 25 °C


Click on Satellite View

Off out into the desert again, this time to Faisal's Point (or Finger). A well known attraction just south of Riyadh. Failsal's Finger is part of the escarpment, often called the End of the World, about a 30min off road drive. Failsal's Point is, at a guess, 200m high and a very impressive sight. We decided to see the point from the top of the escarpment, you can drive round at see it from the base as well and it seems a popular picnic and camping spot.

5 of us set out, 3 Saudis and 2 expats and stopped at several point along the way.

Another Saudi Lizard was found despite the impressive camoflage
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We found our very own crystal cave, a strange find, looked like some animal had burrowed it out. Spread out outside of it was a load of quartz crystals - often called Saudi Diamonds I think - they can be cut and polished and certainly look impressive on jewellery.

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First sighting of the finger, it's hard to do it justice with a picture. Not easy to get a sense of scale with the photos. The point is approximately 200m high. Often people think it's blue skies all the way in Saudi but in reality it's more often very Hazy and this makes photography a little difficult.
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You can see the cars down at the bottom left of this photo to give a sense of the massive scale.
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Here's a panoramic video I took showing the marvelous vista we had.

Many, many thanks to Wail, Amr, Fahad and John for a memorable trip. Expect to see some shots from the bottom in future.

Posted by Gavin Lee 11:51 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged desert riyadh saudi_arabia Comments (0)

Sandstorm in Riyadh

An Orange World...

sunny 15 °C

Excitement at work today! In blew a sandstorm. From nice sunlight to a surreal orange haze in a couple of minutes. My Saudi friends tell me it happens a couple of times a year. The sand is a fine dust, much finer than we would find in the UK. Visibility is down to a few yards.

Not the best series of photos but hopefully gives you all a taste of how much sand was in the air.
First we knew was the wind got up and it was dusty and then a wall of sand blew over the building. Within the space of a couple of minutes visibility was right down and the lights barely visible. Thankfully we were indoors - it can't have been much fun driving in it or even worse being stuck out in it. From start to finish was maybe 20-30 minutes. A nice bit of rain then made sure that all the cars were covered in a nice orange sludge.

I did venture out for a few seconds - it's hard to describe the strange orange glow from all the sand, creates a very strange effect.

Here's the series of photos taken as the sandstorm built up, photos are a little darker than reality due to slightly tinted windows, but it did become very dark.

Photos courtesy of Tom Hunnisett,

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The camera gave up at this point... :-)
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Couple of the better YouTube videos that other people have posted>>

Posted by Gavin Lee 04:28 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged riyadh sandstorm Comments (0)

Indian Head

North West of Riyadh

overcast 15 °C


Click Satellite Button for better view.

Blackpool beach - that's what it felt like... Sat in a deckchair, flat sand in front of me like the sea was out and, of course, a gale force wind making it feel like zero degrees.

From an unpromising start we headed off towards the edge of the cliff to be greeted by a great view out of nowhere, a crumbling rock face stretching into the distance. Once over the edge of the cliff and following a gully made by rainwater it was a welcome relief to be out of the wind and really quite pleasant. Walking along the bottom we found a dry wadi with some flowers in.

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Making our way along the bottom we climbed back out up the rock face. The route taken was straight ahead here and underneath the right hand rock of the group of three (couple of inches in from left of photo), making our way across the rockface and exiting at the far right of the rockface just before the last group of rocks (picture below).

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The ants make the start of the climb.
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Almost there...
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Worth it all I think you'll agree.
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And just for fun we did it twice! I was part of the lead group that went early to scout the trail and make sure it could be done.

And why is it called Indian Head? Well we didn't get that close but it's because of the rock formation at the far right of the last photograph. It's better shown by in this photograph.

Indian Head from the other side by Michael Kiesl

Posted by Gavin Lee 09:44 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged walk riyadh Comments (0)

Golfing in Riyadh

Dirab and Arizona

semi-overcast 24 °C

There are four golf courses for people to play around the Riyadh area. Here are the two I have played on. Dirab is a great full course and Arizona a short 9-hole course. The two I haven't played are Riyadh Green a full grass course and the Intercontinental Hotel very short 9 hole course.

Here are some photos

Dirab
Located an hour SE of Riyadh http://www.dirabgolf.com/ a fantastic course in the desert with some challenging holes. A buggy in summer is a must when temperatures reach 45degC, best to start as close to 6am as possible. The landscape shot shows Dirab at it's best.

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Arizona
The Arizona Golf Resort is located in the NW suburbs of Riyadh. www.agr.com.sa It's only a short 9 hole course but good for sharpening up the game. Plenty of deer roam the course too.

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Posted by Gavin Lee 07:13 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged golf riyadh dirab Comments (0)

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